Salu Ylirisku, Siân Lindley, Giulio Jacucci, Richard Banks, Craig Stewart, Abigail Sellen, Richard Harper, and Tim Regan
Web-based technologies are often built to capitalize on the flexibility and fluidity that is supported by the internet, with the value of ‘access anywhere’ underpinning a blurring of boundaries across home and work. Yet the home is well known in HCI to have a unique set of qualities that can usefully be drawn upon when designing to support domestic life. In this paper we ask what it means to design domestic web-connected technologies, placing the aesthetic and material properties intrinsic to the home and home life at the centre of our design exploration. We present three concepts that were selected and prototyped from a broader process of research-through-design: Tokens of Search provides tangible handles to web resources; Hole in Space connects the home intimately to a remote place; and Manhattan enables the tangible exploration of events in the community, putting the home at the centre. Discussions in the paper consider not only how aesthetics is articulated in the material and digital properties of the artefacts, but also how a consideration of the properties of the home can create a potentially new design space to explore.
In Proceedings of the 2013 SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems (CHI 2013)